Espinosa Powers Barry Past Florida Southern in Series Opener

Ashlyn Worcester
Ashlyn Worcester

LAKELAND – An RBI single by Dee Espinosa gave the Buccaneers their first lead of the game in the top of the fourth inning, and her 3-run homer in the top of the seventh provided them with their final runs as Barry defeated Florida Southern 9-2 Friday night.

Through the first three and two-thirds innings of the game, Florida Southern junior Brandi Jones had allowed only one Barry base runner, Megan Copeland reaching on an error in the first inning before she was caught stealing by freshman catcher Zierra Flodman. That basically gave Jones 11 straight outs before the Buccaneers (11-8, 5-2 Sunshine State Conference) got a triple from Cheyanne Head and Espinosa's single in the fourth for the first run of the game.

The Moccasins (9-14-1, 2-4-1) answered in the bottom of the fourth when freshman Jessica Trana was hit by a pitch leading off the inning and senior Maggie Roberts reached on an infield single. Flodman bunted the runners along and pinch-runner Jordan Sheppard then scored on a passed ball to tie the game 1-1.

The Buccaneers re-claimed the lead with three runs in the top of the fifth, all of them again with two out. A single by Kayla Ogle provided the go-ahead run and two more scored on a base hit by Copeland.

The Bucs would add to their lead with an RBI double by Geneva Santos in the sixth inning followed by an RBI single by Sam Busekrus. Espinosa capped the night with her 3-run blast in the seventh after walks to Ogle and Head, giving the reigning SSC Player-of-the-Year her third home run of the season and four RBI in the game.

Santos held Florida Southern to four hits in a complete game win that moves her record to 8-3. Senior Jordan Alexander had an infield single in the third, Roberts had an infield hit in the fourth, and junior Erica Morrissey had a bloop single that fell into short left in the fifth. Junior Beri Scott singled into right center in the sixth, with the ball getting by the Bucs' right fielder and going all the way to the fence, allowing sophomore Ashlyn Worcester to score from first.

Worcester was the only Moccasin to reach base twice, drawing two walks and stealing one base in addition to the run she scored in the sixth inning. Those were two of the three walks issued by Santos, who had four strikeouts as well.

Jones fell to 5-5 with the loss, giving up four runs (three earned) in 5.0 innings with two strikeouts and one walk.

Florida Southern and Barry will play a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m.